Herzog & de Meuron’s distinctive new Tate Modern extension, which opened to the public in June, not only houses 60 per cent more exhibition space for the gallery, but also an entirely new museum retail concept, pioneered by consumer experience and retail design agency UXUS.
The new Tate Modern store is conceived by UXUS as occupying the crossroads of culture and commerce, by inviting visitors to explore the world of art through the museum’s retail expression. Part shopping destination, part cultural hangout, it is designed to be a ‘permanently temporary’ space, with the flexibility to respond to the gallery’s fast-changing exhibition and project schedule.
Spread across more than 5000 sq ft, the new retail space links the new extension to the gallery’s iconic Turbine Hall, creating a visually friendly, accessible and inviting space to shop – whether visitors are there to browse for an art book following an exhibition visit, are looking for a specific gift or are simply browsing for a postcard of their favourite work.
Generous picture windows ensure high visibility into the store from both the gallery and the street. Retail displays are divided into three zones – generalist, specialist and children. In the latter area, brightly coloured cubbyholes are incorporated into the bookshelves so that children can leisurely look at books and toys that have caught their imagination. On the whole, the concept for the store is to make the shopping experience work for each consumer, allowing for visits to browse and experience the products before deciding to purchase.
The collaboration between the Tate and UXUS dates back to 2010 when the company, who have worked on similar projects with the Rijksmuseum, the Stedelijik and the Eye Film Museum, won the gallery’s global tender to work on the project. The idea for the Tate Modern’s new store was first testd in 2012 when UXUS created a pop-up store for the gallery’s major survey on the works on Damian Hirst. The retail concept proved to be a huge success, and it became the blueprint for future retail developments, leading to this newest addition to the gallery’s shopping repertoire.
For further information email Lucy Price at Caro Communications.